Thursday, January 31, 2013

So Sari...

Sari silks recently purchased on Etsy...washed and hanging to dry

Already starting to visualize!
Patty making sure nothing blows away.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I know what I want to do today. Everything! I must, however pick just one thing. In the meantime, I thought I would show you the latest work I have completed for the show "Teapots!" for the Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery. This is an invitational show that brings together artists in many mediums to create a teapot form. This is my 3rd year and 4th teapot. 2 of my teapots have been sold to Sonny Kamm for his collection. I believe the intention is to have a permanent museum collection at the Fuller Craft Museum of the many (many) teapots he has collected. The 3rd is in a private collection and I have hopes for the new one...

Tree Pot 2013

Green Tea 2012 (Kamm Collection)

I Spiked the Tea 2012 (private collection)

Lost Opportunity 2011 (Kamm Collection)

 So off to the studio today to work on a piece for a group show. Then I can reward myself with a little play time! I will keep you posted.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Under Pressure

I just spent the last hour making cookies in effort to distract myself for a few moments. I have so much going on the the next few months (the next 24 months, actually) that I have been waffling between viewing the big picture and swinging my attention to the immediate tasks at hand. It can feel very overwhelming at times.

I struggle with not concerning myself with exhibitions a year from now while recognizing that the next few months for me are consumed with travel. I also have a very kind mentor who has lined up meetings with a couple of commercial galleries and I don't think they would be too interested in my scarf samples for my next class. Sooo, must make "Art". o.m.gosh. ... how do I do that again?? To do so while investing energies into teaching, travel, parenting and current work I need to create (teapot for Pittsburgh's Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery and work for my Connections fibre group show), the list makes me dizzy. Oh, I will do it. I love doing it all.

I will have immense anxiety and guilt as I leave town and fly away on a plane, yet will look down and remind myself how incredibly cool it is that there are people out there that want to learn from me and that there are people out there that like what I do. What I really wanna do is putter and make a bag (I love making bags!!!) but, think a simple pod is on the agenda. Materials on order, in spite of my promise to use what I have on-hand, will be a nice treat and source of inspiration...moving forward. I'll keep you posted <3>

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Web Student

My soap shipment! 50 bars of my favorite :o)
I have had a great 2 days (3 hours each day) with a serial student, Julie. She already makes wonderful felt, but wanted some extra logistic tips on bags. Working independently on our off camera hours we were each able to complete 2 bags (sans handles, at this point). Kind of making some things up as we went, it was nice to work with such an easy-going soul. We made a tote first...I just threw on some stuff for surface design that is not so exciting, so have not photographed that one. The second one...
 I used a piece from a resist dyed scarf I made with Chad Alice Hagen. It was fully felted, but I roughed up the back really well with a sharp brush and it felted in, no problem at all. Amazing wool. The sides have little "tubes" that can be stitched for a ring and leather handle or a nice strip of leather can be fed through the "tube" and stitched....or a felted strap. Several options.


sewing in a zipper :o)

Well, it's my bedtime!! I will not be in the studio tomorrow, unfortunately. Too much running around to do and a hair appointment to get all beautified. Back in the studio Friday and I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013


Inspiration for me this week-A Stunning, huge wood carving by
A favourite question, is seems, is "Where do you find your inspiration". Come to think about it, I may have asked it more than once. I just now recall asking this of fabulous feltmaker and friend, Karoliina Arvilommi. Her answer: "tiny things that grow on rocks". A simple mentor speaks of "iconic" form. So interesting when you think if it. I wonder what is happening in our brain when we are inspired and why does this something in particular speak to us, drive us to create and hope that others will see what we see (in some cases- some artists do not care- or is that really true?)

That concludes the thinking out loud portion of this post.

What am I up to?

1.) Making lots of lists, it appears: Materials lists, things I need to spend money on lists, list of the lists I need to make.
2.) Organizing my travel schedule as spring approaches causing angst, guilt and desire for cloning.
3.) Making art. New art....

New Art
On the table today...almost ready to wet out

The biggest challenge for me this time of year are the practicalities of time management (yawn). Having just one day for "studio" between teaching, or running around days, or paperwork days, just does not work. I need lots of recharging time bigger blocks of creating time.

Well, the above piece beckons. I will keep you posted.

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Weekend happenings...

New Pod and...Pattycake helping with the paperwork

The weekend was kicked off with an evening out with my artist friends. What a small town I live in sometimes. Lots of fun people that I know from other circles all coming together in one place over drinks. Fun figuring out who we knew and from where. A late night followed by a web class with a student who also happens to be a friend that I have met at various felting events here and there. We made a pod, of course, and her dragon fruit inspired piece will be really something when she is done. I managed to complete mine and finish another after we we were done which was great.


Now that the paper work is done (for now, because we all know this is temporary!) I must turn to creating!! I need to focus on a new body of work and produce, produce, produce. Not in that mindset, about play, play, play. That sounds better. I have been gathering inspiration and with my new colour printer will create a space that I can hang the inspiration, one at a time,  and begin. I am not one to have a space cluttered with unfinished objects or a wide range of ideas or visual stimulation. I like a blank slate and the ability to focus on the work at hand and nothing else.

Tomorrow, I begin. I will keep you posted ;o)

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Grant Application

This is how I feel when I look at grant applications. They seem so daunting and intimidating! I just finished one and had dusted off my hands all pleased that I was done for the year, or so I thought. Then came a phone call from the school board office from a wonderful, exciting, dynamic woman that I have met in my art travels. She has a wonderful idea and in order for the school board to fund this....grant time again. With the holiday, info did not come quickly, calls were returned in the new year and now I have a couple of days to get this out the door. Oh, it is very do-able, I just need to focus. So, this will be it for the day, and perhaps tomorrow while I get my stuff all filled out, revised and printed in 6x. Wish me luck. I would like to say the waiting is the hard part, but this is pretty painful too!

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Students: They came. They felted. They went.

What a great whirl-wind day. 4 wonderful women (we missed you Diane!) rifled through my ample stash, selected some fabulous stuff, and felted up a storm. You can never have enough time to design, but after cracking the whip ;o), I got a couple of them over the hump and felting. Wonderful, wonderful bags they made. So impressed with what they achieved. Leather straps are the finishing touch and 2 will be added at home, but everyone was smiling and happy with the full day! Thanks for a wonderful day, women. Until we meet again for vessels!

I am now having a glass of wine (okay, my second) and basking in the success of the day. The wet bubble wrap and mesh will wait until the morning and I will then move on to the reality that the regular routine is descending upon us here at home. Bittersweet.

space all ready to roll

materials outside the door to make space!
3 of my group, hard at work.


c'mon, slow poke ;o)

Oooooo :o)

Nice C-1/Pelsull...made a great sturdy bag!! love it. Silk hankies on surface!

All us crazy women. Yes, I am wearing a fascinator (uncommon)

Great bag (hiding dead give-away of a feltmaker- wet middle)


the other side of perfection

2 wonderful bags...straps to be added :o) Love them all!!
Thanks again...Nice to be back in the swing. G'nite ya'll.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And today...

 Patty demonstrated dislike for my layout by taking it out with a strategic tail swipe.

 Layout...adding a pocket for fun.

 Resist on, edges folding...
 Silk fabric all in place, ready to rub!

 Patty can't watch anymore.
 Cutting out resists and lots more work to go...

 Inside of flap- zebra, of course.

 Front all finished
 ...and the back.

Front of flap detail. Added a swirly black and white bead...the one that was in the sari silk was plasticy and tacky!

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Keeping you Posted...

As I have may have mentioned, I will have 5 students in my studio for a bag class this weekend. I have no samples here of the collage bag as they are all at galleries or sold. Decided I would make a small one to show them a design option. I think we will use the same shape, bigger and add a shorter strap. That is the plan, in any case. I will make another sample tomorrow, perhaps. The felting on this little bag was one of the easiest steps, the stitching and zipper can be a bit tricky. I have done it enough times, I have my own system down. I purchase the rings (in this case they happen to be "gate rings") and this particular leather strap on Etsy from these folks but there are lots of other sources on Etsy so have a look. to show you some stuff...

Layout done (resist inside), all silk and embellishments added and ready to felt

midway though felting, showing texture.
Terrible picture (dark) but shows the shrinkage- 40% at least, folks!
Adding rings. deciding on placement.
Yup. That's good.
Pinned in Zipper
Unzip and sew from inside.
Zipper in.
Added optional zipper pull. Funky bead and silk ribbon.
Done! It is a little bag, so the sewing was fiddly.
...and the reverse!

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus